For months I have been looking forward to going to London this May. Actually, I have been waiting to go to England ever since my father read my sisters and I The Chronicles of Narnia. So I was thrilled to be able to leave finally on the 20th of May.
Well, thrilled and terrified. After all, I have never been overseas. Only twice have I left the United States and that was to go to Canada. Although I enjoyed my stays in the northern country, it was not quite the same as embarking on a journey across the ocean.
However, I fought this entire year against the odds to get here. Turning my whole life around, I began to take care of myself, eat more of my meal plan, and do school part-time so that I could be in treatment. As I grew stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally, my doctors and family began to believe in me although they still worried. Eager to go with my school for summer credits, I fundraised and continued to fight for my future. This would be my first trip without family and I was ready to claim my independence. Finally, everything was in place to go in April.
Then everything fell apart. My school decided I had been in treatment (the same treatment I began to prepare for the trip) too close to my departure date. Thus I was kicked off my dream journey.
To say that I was devastated would be an understatement. What would I do now that my dream had been crushed? Everything that I had worked for was yanked away from me. Was all of my work for nothing?
No! I refused to give up and continued to fight for my dream. So here I am today typing from a hotel in London. This isn’t the way that I had hoped for; my mother is with me and I am not with my fellow college students. Yet I am so thankful for what I have and am eager to continue on with this amazing trip!
Today, I braved riding onto an airplane next to an unknown English boy who I actually engaged in conversation, finding our shuttle from the airport, walking about in public in pants, and adjusting to a time change. And I was able to eat almost normally both in the plane and hotel!
Best of all, though, was supper. My mother and I walked up and down the streets. All of the brick houses with budding trees and iron gates are so lovely! Anyway, we stopped at a few different places trying to find the right one to eat at. Finally we chose a little Indian restaurant. There was just a slight problem: neither my mother or I could understand any part of the menu.
Luckily, the owner came over and explained everything to us. She was a lovely older woman dressed in a bright pink sari. Everything she did seemed to radiant wisdom, graciousness, and joy. Finally, I decide upon a meal and ordered it. And guess what? I ate it in the restaurant. Better yet, I enjoyed it! In fact, I liked it so much that I told the owner and waiter. Instead of feeling shameful, I felt warm from the care shown to me, educated in a new culture, and wise to the beauty of others.
In fact, I asked the owner to help me in my new project. Starting here in England, I am researching what people believe defines beauty. So I interviewed the restaurant owner and another woman about this. I was so blessed and excited that they imparted their opinions with me. Soon I will start posting about my findings in this project that I am doing.
Anyway, today I was able to face a lot of challenges and actually enjoy myself! I don’t know when I last did that. So my encouragement to all of you is to push yourself just a bit out of your comfort zone every day. You never know what great things you may discover if you only take the time to dare.